Water is a basic necessity, which is why every home has a water supply. They typically run through the plumbing system embedded inside the structure’s walls. The thing about these pipes is that they can fail over the years and cause leaks, which when unaddressed, can cause water damage.
Water damage can be very dangerous, especially because wood is an organic material that can be a breeding ground for mold. Plus, the damage can grow bigger and compromise the foundation of the structure.
Because of this, you should take time to replace any water-damaged wall to minimize the possibility of this happening. Not sure how to start? Here’s what you should know.
Materials Need to Replace Water-Damaged Walls
Before you start your project, the first thing you should do is assemble everything you need to accomplish it. Some of these things are typical tools, while others need to be purchased, usually from a hardware store. You can start by getting these materials.
- Epoxy wood filler
- Epoxy consolidant
- Wood primer
- Putty knife
- Safety goggles
Step-by-Step Guide to Replacing a Water-Damaged Wall
Once you have everything, you are ready to start. Here is everything you should do to replace a water-damaged wall.
Turn off the electricity and water
You should not begin any home project that concerns water and breaking down walls without turning off your utility systems. You do not want to risk getting electrocuted while repairing your home.
Moreover, failure to turn off the plumbing system can result in a disaster if you happen to hit any of the pipes during the process. Just imagine the catastrophe if you burst a pipe, wetting all your indoor furniture.
So, make sure to turn off these systems to minimize potentially risking your and your family’s life, and the safety of your home.
Find the damage
After turning off your utility systems, the next thing to do is to find the damaged wall. If you want to replace the wall, then chances are that the damage is pretty bad and obvious, so this part will not be difficult.
However, there are times when the damage is far more extensive than what it presents to be. You want to make sure that you are targeting the right part of the wall, so you can completely eliminate the issue.
Any excess accumulation of mold and rot is a good sign of where the damage is. From there, you can start exposing the damage to start the process. You might need to cut a section of the dry or plaster wall, even the baseboard.
Fix the leak
Once you expose the rot, the next thing you need to do is to address the source of the issue. Remember that a leaking pipe is typically the culprit, so you should try to look for the source. This may entail turning on the water.
To repair the leak, you will need a sealant. Apply an appropriate amount to the leaking pipe to seal it. Just keep in mind that the plumbing issue could be more than this and professional help may be needed. Another source of water damage could be a roof leak.
Make sure to address the issue. If you think you have repaired the leak, then you can proceed with the next step.
Remove the damaged parts
The next thing to do is to remove all the rotted wood. This may take some time, and you should not hesitate to spend time and energy doing this. Remember leaving any hint of rot, mold, or damage can make it easier to come back.
You can use the putty knife to dig the rot out. You might need to remove a portion of the good wood to make sure that you have taken everything out. Meticulousness is the key because a lot of the decay could be hiding deeper into the wall.
Use epoxy to fill the gap
The next thing to do is to apply the epoxy, which is what will hold the inner part of the wall together. Now, this can be complex because you will be using two types of epoxies.
What you need to do is to apply the epoxy consolidant on the surface, especially in the inner parts. This will make the filler stick to the wood more effectively. You need to let the consolidant cure for hours. Then, you can apply the wood filler to the gaps.
Keep in mind that you will need to push the filler into the holes. Once you have covered everything, you can let it dry for a few hours. However, this will depend on how hot or cold the environment is. The best way to go let is to leave it overnight to dry.
After it dries, you need to sand the filler to smooth it out. Applying wood primer is a good idea to minimize the chances of it getting water-damaged in the future.
Close it up
After drying the filler and primer, you can now place the dry or plaster wall back. If you needed to cut out parts of it, then you might need to replace it. Use the hammer and nails to put it all back. You can also use a nail gun for convenience.
If your wall used screws, then use them to re-place the wall. Then, you can paint it the color you prefer.
When in doubt, call a professional
If you think you are not equipped to proceed with the project, your best bet is to get in touch with an expert contractor who will be doing the repairs and replacement according to standards. With their help, you can expect a polished outcome with minimal issues.
The Bottom Line
Replacing a water-damaged wall can be intimidating. With this guide, you can do the project yourself and get the peace of mind you need once everything is done. Not sure how to proceed? Do not hesitate to call A-ONE Construction.